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Books are magical!  They can teach new things and/or transport you to another time and place for an adventure. By the time students reach 3rd grade they have transitioned from learning to read to reading to learn.  Unfortunately, some students are at a disadvantage when it comes to reading to learn possibly due to a reading or language disorder or lack of exposure to books and opportunities to engage with literature. This is one of the many reasons that I love using literacy-based therapy! Using literacy-based therapy not only provides early and multiple opportunities to provide exposure to stories to our students but you can also save time with planning and target multiple goals!  Check out what areas you can target with literacy-based therapy.

ARTICULATION:
  • phonemic awareness (play with rhyming, sound discrimination, initial/medial/final word placement)
  • phoneme production (isolation level)
  • word production level
  • sentence production level
  • reading level
  • spontaneous speech level (story recall, narrative for what happens next, answering/asking questions, etc..)
TIP: Have extra copies of the book so students can read along with you and write down the words with their sound.  You can also provide students with a list of words with their sound from the story that they have to write on a separate piece of paper to take home and practice.  I encourage you to have them practice writing their own word list instead of handing them an already made list to take home. I have included some helpful planning sheets and a word list for your student.  Grab your free packet below.

CHILDHOOD APRAXIA OF SPEECH:
Use repetitive books to target specific sounds, syllable structures, and to empower students to communicate more frequently. Check out these blog posts for lists of repetitive books:

LANGUAGE:
  • receptive identification and expressive labeling for basic semantics (nouns, verbs, pronouns, prepositions, etc..) and semantic features (function, location, description, category, etc..)
  • vocabulary building for antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, homophones
  • asking and answering yes/no and who, what, where, when, why, and how questions
  • auditory comprehension and following directions
  • inference skills and compare/contrast skills
  • sequencing and story retell, and building narration

FLUENCY:
  • identification of fluent vs. disfluent speech
  • identification of different types of disfluent speech 
  • teaching and practicing fluency shaping strategies and stuttering modification techniques

PRAGMATIC LANGUAGE:
  • identifying/determining inappropriate vs. appropriate actions
  • emotions
  • identifying and expressing body language, facial cues, and tone of voice
  • perspective taking for others
  • problem solving
  • identifying/determining appropriate social responses to situations

Initial planning can take time in the beginning dependent upon how familiar you are with the story since you will need to spend time with each book to break down word lists, concepts covered, etc...  However, once you create a plan and file it away, you can use it year after year without any further planning.

If you would like the literacy-based therapy planning pack, fill out the information below to grab your free copy.  The pack includes some helpful planning pages, links to find additional resources, and an articulation word list page for your students!



Halloween is my favorite holiday!  Time in books which were definitely my first love as a kid!  Using books to provide speech therapy just makes sense to me. I have a lot of favorite books and I organize them by theme, season/holiday, sounds, language concepts, etc.. Check out why I love these Halloween books!

The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by J. Elizabeth Mills
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters easily with this cute story!  Students can even practice carryover of their sounds (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) while singing the story back using the tune 'wheels on the bus'. 

LANGUAGE: Target identification and labeling of Halloween vocabulary, work on wh-questions and yes/no questions, and practice sequencing and story retell!

Say Boo! by Lynda Graham-Barber
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) easily with this cute story about a little ghost that struggles to say boo! My kids always enjoy this story too since they can relate.

LANGUAGE: Target vocabulary building for verbs such as howling, peering, mocked, bellowed, and mumbled. This is also a perfect book to target prepositions, wh-questions, and sequencing!

In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) easily with story about this family going to a haunted house.

LANGUAGE: Target identification and labeling of Halloween vocabulary, semantic features (function/location) for common items, homophones such as their/there, answering wh-questions, and  story retell!

If you do not want to have go through the books and make your own lists, I have created an easy cheat sheet for articulation words, language concepts to target, and some basic wh-questions you can ask for each book!  You can grab your free cheat sheet below. 
What are some of your favorite Halloween books to incorporate into your speech therapy lessons?  Please share with us below in the comments! Thanks!
I love October!  It is by far my favorite month because my beautiful daughter was born this month and Halloween is my favorite holiday! There are also a lot of awesome freebies available on Teachers Pay Teachers for Halloween activities to use in speech therapy.

Here are ten amazing Halloween Freebies that I located!
  1.  Halloween Reinforcement Worksheets by The Speech Attic has 10 pages of reinforcement fun!
  2. This next freebie is beyond awesome for your preschoolers.  It includes the 5 pumpkins finger play but also an original fingerplay called 'Trick or Treaters at your door'.  Make sure to check out Speech Therapy Fingerplays: Halloween from Speech2U. 
  3. If your students enjoy Mad Libs, you will want to check out the Halloween Freebie Mad Libs by SuperPowerSpeech.
  4. I found a fun Build A Face: Halloween game from Jennifer of Speech Therapy plans!  This works great with mixed groups and can be used for articulation and/or language groups!
  5. If you are working on vocabulary, rhyming, and inferencing you will definitely want to check out the Spooky Clues by Peachie Speechie. 
  6. Working on language and carryover articulation at the sentence level?  Sarah Wu has a Free Halloween: Would you Rather bilingual set
  7.  If you are working on speech sounds, vocabulary, and basic sentence structure, check out the free Halloween Articulation Vocabulary Books by Speech is Sweet. 
  8. I love crafts because you can build so much language into that task while still targeting articulation!  I found this cute Halloween craft from Fun in Speech.
  9. Another wonderful craft I found for Halloween is this Halloween Triorama Sampler for Articulation, Language, and Social Skills by Creative Speech Lab.
  10. One more freebie that I wanted to share with you is one of my own!  A few years back I created this social narrative about trick or treating.  This freebie also includes awareness cards if parents want to help educate and advocate for their child.  You can grab my Halloween Social Narrative Freebie here!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Halloween-Social-Narrative-and-Disability-Awareness-Cards-FREEBIE-2157562
I also wrote a blog post on Speech Spotlight sharing tips on how to prepare our students for Halloween night. Here is my blog post on Halloween: Communicate, Advocate, and Educate.

I also found these great blog posts that include other great Halloween freebies!
Five Fab Halloween Freebies, Another Five Fab Halloween Freebies, and Five Fab Halloween Freebies part 2- Jessica from the digital SLP.
Free Halloween No Print Activities for Speech Therapy - Stacy Crouse, SLP
Halloween Freebies - Kim from Activity Tailor
5 Halloween Freebies for Speech Therapy - Carrie from Speech and Language Kids

Do you know of any other amazing Halloween Freebies?  If so, please share in the comments below!

Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.


I have a confession to make.  I plan by seasons and holidays.  It makes it so much easier for me to plan this way since I can cover just about any target goal using the resources in my lesson plans. Check out what I use for therapy this season.

RESOURCES for MIXED GROUPS DURING AUTUMN:
No Prep Speech & Language: Autumn
NO PREP SPEECH & LANGUAGE: AUTUMN is a definite GO TO resource for me!  I am big on the No Prep idea.  It makes planning so much easier.  Just print the pages I need and go!  I can also open up the PDF on my tablet or computer so that I do not even have to print it out if I do not want to.  I use this resource to address articulation, language, and fluency goals.

FIND ARTICULATION and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS: AUTUMN has become a big hit with my kids! It is perfect for working with students with articulation, language, and fluency goals. This resource has hidden articulation words scattered around the picture that students look for using a magnifying glass. It also has 2-step temporal following directions, and lists of wh-questions for each picture scene.  Other suggestions on how you can use the pictured scenes to cover other goals is included. I have even used it with my teletherapy caseload. I just make sure to make the picture a little bit bigger so they can see the hidden words without the use of a magnifying glass.

ARTICULATION RESOURCES FOR AUTUMN:
ARTiculation Quilts: Autumn
If you are looking for an articulation project that not only addresses student' goals but you can also post to make a beautiful bulletin board?  If so, you should check out my ARTICULATION QUILTS: AUTUMN.

Another resource that many students enjoy is the MYSTERY ARTICULATION PICTURES: AUTUMN.  My students have enjoyed trying to figure out what the end picture will be.

LANGUAGE RESOURCES FOR AUTUMN:
I use my LANGUAGE BUILDER: AUTUMN every year! My kids enjoy it and it covers so many different language needs! My language builder packs target basic vocabulary building, answering and asking questions, using inference skills, recalling sentences and details, describing, sentence building, and narrative building skills with barrier games!

Since I am use to being an interim SLP and a teletherapist, I like to have no prints available.  It truly saves my back from hauling things everywhere plus it makes therapy planning simple as can be! A new favorite is my NO PRINT LANGUAGE TASKS: AUTUMN.  It uses colorful graphics and real pictures to target receptive identification in a field of three, answering yes/no and wh-questions, describing, inference, compare/contrast, and narrative building skills.

PHONOLOGY RESOURCE FOR AUTUMN:
No Print Phonology Tasks: No Print
This past year, I created a NO PRINT PHONOLOGY TASKS: AUTUMN resource and my students love it!  I love it more since it covers a variety of phonological processing errors using auditory bombardment list, auditory discrimination with minimal pairs, rhyming task, wh-questions, and creating an autumn scene! This resource covers the following phonological processing error patterns:
Prevocalic Voicing, Prevocalic Devoicing, Final Consonant Deletion, Fronting, Backing, Stopping of Fricatives, Deaffrication, Consonant Cluster Reduction, and Gliding.

FLUENCY RESOURCE FOR AUTUMN:
No Print Fluency (Stuttering) Tasks: Autumn
I'm about to drop a truth bomb!  I have used my NO PRINT FLUENCY TASKS: AUTUMN resource not only with my students who stutter but also with some of my students who receive services for language skills.  This no print resource targets goals for identifying facts vs. myths about stuttering, identifying bumpy vs. smooth speech, identify/explain/demonstrate different disfluent speech patterns and fluency shaping techniques and stuttering modification techniques, using techniques and strategies at all levels (word, phrase, sentence, spontaneous speech), and response to social situations.  I use the sentence and spontaneous speech level tasks with my students working on language.

I have created a copy of my Autumn Therapy Planning page to share with you along with some templates in case you want to plan by season and holiday too! You can see some of the books that I plan to use this season for literacy-based therapy too on my lesson plan. You can grab a copy by completing the information below!  I hope it helps you plan our your lessons by season and saves you as much time as it saves me!


I don't know about you but when Teletherapy first made its presence known in our field, I was skeptical.  How would I build rapport with my students over a computer? How would I serve my students and families with more significant needs or that use augmentative and alternative communication?  Plus, I really love working in person with my students and families!

However, life takes its own path and sometimes we need to roll with it.  That is how I became a part-time SLP teletherapist. I just started my third year as a teletherapist and I have learned several life lessons and realized that working as a teletherapist has some amazing advantages to the brick and mortar locations!

WORK FROM HOME
The most obvious is the benefit of working from home!  As a mother, I have found it incredibly helpful to my family that I work part-time from home because I do not have to always race home before my child does after school.  Also, when she is not at school because she is sick well I am still able to work while taking care of my child. Two added bonuses are that I do not have to worry about battling traffic and I save gas money! To me, those are all Wins!

NO WORRIES DURING COLD/FLU SEASON
Since I am not there in person, my chances of catching 'a bug' from one or more of my students are diminished. Haha! Exposure to illness is decreased to just the 'bugs' that my own child may bring home from school (or my husband from the hospital where he works). At the same time, I am not able to pass along any cold or flu bugs when I am ill.  In fact, I am also able to continue working and taking care of myself when I have a cold.

FLEXIBILITY IN SCHEDULING
A huge benefit is the ability to request part-time work!  I know that for some school districts it is really difficult to get part-time when you are the on-site SLP.  Speech-Language Pathologists are in such great demand in the schools (everywhere really) that many school districts want you full-time or not at all as they will find someone who will accept their full-time demands. As a teletherapist, it is much easier to get part-time if that is what you want.  Also, since you may be providing services to children in a different state, there may be a time difference that allows you flexibility in your schedule too.  For example, I now live in North Carolina but I currently provide services to children in California so that is a three-hour difference.  That means that my day starts a little later than if I was an on-site SLP.  Also, since you work at home, you can start that laundry during lunch and keep up with housecleaning a little easier!

SMALLER CASELOAD
Yes, I'm living the dream on the days that I work as a teletherapist! Huge caseloads have been an issue in pretty much every school, district, and state that I have worked as an on-site SLP.  When I am providing services via teletherapy, my groups are limited typically to two students.  The max I have had is three students but that is rare for me! Can you imagine how much more can we get done and the great amount of growth our students can make when we are only seeing one to two students each session?

COMFORT IS KEY
So the old joke (but true reality) is that we get to sit around in our pajama bottoms and yoga pants.  However, that is not the only comfort that can occur with being a teletherapist.  A lot of my favorite students also happened to be some of the more aggressive students, unfortunately. Why?  The aggression was sometimes the result of frustration in not being able to communicate. Most of us have had our share of bites, kicks, hits, pinches, and being spit on.  As a teletherapist, I do not need to worry about coming home bruised and battered (though I always warn my e-helper if a student has a history of such behavior and typically the student will have their own behavior aide to help out) again.

GROW AS AN SLP
Although I left this as the last advantage, I feel it is truly the number one reason I enjoy teletherapy!  When you are providing services via the computer you have to be more animated and think outside the box more to keep students engaged.  How do you keep that little one that just turned three engaged in therapy for the full 30 minutes when it is on the computer?  How will you facilitate and support communication through AAC?  What reinforcers can you provide the student with behavioral concerns to keep them on task?  I have had to think about all these and really stretch myself as a Speech-Langauge Pathologist to come up with answers that I never would have considered prior to being a Teletherapist.

If you want to learn more about teletherapy and if it might be a good fit for you, I recommend you check out Spilling the Tea on Teletherapy (a youtube video about the pros and cons) and Is Teletherapy Right for Me? (an e-book about teletherapy).

Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.


When I started this blog, I did my fair share of app reviews.  Do I still find benefit in apps and using them in therapy?  Yes, I do.  However, I no longer have the blind love for them that I once did and this is why I now have a Love-Hate relationship with my tablet.

THEY CAN BE PHENOMENAL FOR STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND GROWTH
I have seen the level of interest and engagement in therapy increase when the same task is presented with an interactive platform such as my tablet.  The increase of interest appears to be the same whether the task is presented using interactive no print resources or developed apps by some of our favorite SLP app developers.  With an increase in engagement and interest, it is pretty safe to say it leads to an increase in student success (at least from my experience) because the student wants to learn and has been drawn into the lesson.

COSTS CAN ADD UP FOR APPS
Most apps are not cheap and they shouldn't be!  I know I could not develop some of the wonderful apps our colleagues have created.  That being said, most of us do not have a lot of money to spare on technology and/or resources to purchase the apps.  That is why I am always looking out for some great no print resources or boom cards because they still draw the kids in but do not cost as much as many of the apps out there.  Of course, there are still some MUST HAVE apps that I use weekly with my students and for that reason, the cost alone (as long as my family can financially swing it) will not stop me from purchasing just the right apps for my caseload needs.

GREAT TOOL FOR TRAVELING SLP and TELETHERAPISTS
I quickly learned that when you have several school sites to visit, the tablet comes in handy!  I no longer had to pack up a huge bag or two to take from school site to school site just to help my students meet their goals.  Same goes with teletherapy.  I can use my tablet and connect it via my zoom room so that my students can see many of the apps that I use on their own computer screens. My tablet is a great help in saving my back and the medical costs slinging all of those bags filled with resources may cost me down the road.

TOO MANY UPDATES
This right here is the main cause of my negative relationship with my tablet. My tablet is currently FILLED with apps that I can no longer use and that I spent good money on because developers just can't keep up with the costs of the constant updates! I stated in one of my earliest blog posts that I am a therapy resource hoarder, and so although these apps currently do not work, I can not bring myself to clearing them from my tablet.  I am always hopeful that some of my favorites may rise again from the ashes. I'm an obvious optimistic and glutton rolled up in one!

Do you have a love-hate relationship with technology or with tablets?  Do you have favorite apps that are a MUST HAVE and that you have noticed are consistently updated?

If yes to either, please leave a message below and share your favorite apps or why you have a love-hate relationship with your tablet.

Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.
Have you heard of  Smart Felt Toys or My Little Farm?  My Little Farm is an interactive felt playset from Smart Felt Toys that I was fortunate enough to try out.  Smart Felt Toys provided me with a My Little Farm set to review; however, the opinions in this post are all mine.

I have to admit that I love the storage for this playset!  It comes in a thin box with a handle and the entire pop up felt farm folds up to neatly put away!  Why do I mention this?  Well, storage of materials is something I always consider as I hate when I go to pull something out and I am missing parts.  Also if the packaging is big and bulky it may be difficult to move around if you are a Speech-Language Pathologist that works at multiple sites.

This playset is also created by a Speech-Language Pathologist, Yvonne Johansen, who has worked with kids in schools, clinics, in their homes, and in Head Start Programs.  Therefore, this product is already aligned with so many goals that we target with our littler clients, comes with a guide providing suggestions on ways that the playset can be used, and has a short story about the farm.  I especially appreciated the short story. The short story is written so that a child is able to follow along with the story while engaging in following spatial directions by placing the felt pieces in the appropriate locations.

The Little Farm playset includes 32 soft stick felt pieces and a pop up four-panel barn that is reversible.  The outside of the barn resembles a typical red barn; however, the reverse side of the barn includes two panels with outlines for the felt pieces and two panels to allow for imaginative play.  I appreciate the duality of this product since it allows kids to target a variety of goals.

WHAT SPEECH-LANGUAGE GOALS CAN BE TARGETED?
  • Matching
  • Receptive Identification by name and/or Semantic Features
  • Vocal Play (Farm animal sounds)
  • Expressive Vocabulary Building and Labeling
  • Expressive Description Building Skills
  • Sentence Expansion and Grammar
  • Asking and Answering Wh-Questions
  • Narrative Building Skills
  • Reduction in Phonological Processing Errors (target velars, final consonant deletion, stops, consonant clusters, etc..)
  • Build Social Skills (requesting, turn-taking)

WHY DO I LOVE THIS PRODUCT?
As a Speech-Language Pathologist that has been in the field for a while, I appreciate that it is so easy to take it from one place to another and that I can use it to target so many goals for receptive language, expressive language, pragmatic language, and phonology! I also appreciate that the creator of this product provided a guide and a story.  I think that extra touch is so helpful for a new Speech-Language Pathologist in the field as well as parents that may want to purchase this product to help build speech and language skills through play with their children at home.

WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO I HAVE FOR IMPROVEMENT?
I had to think about this since there is so much GOOD happening with this product.  The first suggestion is that it would be helpful in expanding on its use if it came with a few additional full panel backgrounds that can be laid over the originals.  By having those additional background scenes, the imaginative play and narrative skill-building opportunities could be increased. It would also be helpful if some of the felt pieces were duplicated but were in different sizes.  By having these additional pieces, you could fit more felt pieces onto the panel scene, work on spatial concepts such as near and far, and target sizes such as big and little.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:
I really love this resource!  My 9-year-old daughter also enjoyed playing with it.  The suggested age for My Little Farm is 3+ years which makes it perfect for preschool; however, I can see some of my early elementary students benefiting greatly from this product and those like it.  My Little Farm retails for $39.99 at SmartFelt Toys.  They also currently have a My Little House and are planning to expand to include other products such as My Little Neighborhood, My Little Zoo, My Little Hospital, and more!  I will definitely be looking into My Little House and the additional lines as they continue to grow! 

How do you think you would use this product?  Tell me in the comments below if you have a My Little Farm or a My Little House and how you use it for speech therapy. 

Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.


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